Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review: Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

The novel Tam Lin is a modernized retelling of the Scottish folk ballad by the same name. Janet Carter starts school at Blackstock College where her father is a professor. Despite her familiarity with the campus joke that all Classics majors are crazy she is not quite prepared for the strange, tight lipped, unearthly talented and eerily beautiful students she meets in that department, her adviser's adamancy in trying to recruit her into it or the ghost of a Classics major that haunts her dorm room. She settles into life on campus well enough with all the usual drama with classes, dating and trying to get along with her room mate with no idea of the secrets that lay hidden in Blackstock's history or that she is on her way to repeating it.

Every other page of this book is filled with quotations from Shakespeare, Keats, Lewis Carrol or C.S. Lewis. As a result I can only say that I enjoyed it immensely. Did it have good characterizations and a riveting plot? Probably. I didn't notice. I was too distracted. Still, I recommend it.

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